Sunday, March 30, 2014


If you get the opportunity to take a cardweaving workshop from John Mullarkey I highly recommend it. Not only is he extremely knowledgeable, well organized, easy to understand, has a calm go with the flow personality but he's funny too. I learned so much this past two days and now I know that cardweaving will become a regular part of my weaving repertoire. Not that I haven't done any cardweaving over the years, I love the look but I hated the idea of  being tethered to table/post, using up a loom for cards or using C-clamps on a table - it should be portable but not cumbersome. Well, enter this cute little cardweaving loom that John designed - I love it. If I need to weave really long bands I can use my floor inkle loom but I can see myself using this cute little loom quite often, even while riding in the car.

I forgot to bring my camera yesterday so no pic of the warping for the band above - there was lots of playing taking off from the original design.

Here is the loom after warping for today's weaving - different style of warping than we did for yesterday - nice to learn two techniques - yes, that's my yummy cookie snack to keep me fortified for the workshop......there were lots of snacks all weekend.....lots......

Today's weaving were Egyptian diagonals - very fun (that little block was not a part of this class but John demo'd it on my loom - I'll be trying this out in the not too distant future)

More of the diagonals - this one a snowflake pattern
I don't remember the name of this pattern but I love it - it's included in a book John sells on Egyptian diagonals..... is this pattern.  Very fun workshop - learned so much and am now enthused over cardweaving

Friday, March 28, 2014

And back at the warping board...........

Late morning I finally made it to the loom to audition some weft colors for the warp I put on yesterday. All I've decided is that I love the red/purple weft - 2nd from the bottom so that will definitely be one scarf, possibly two. Not sure yet on the other two scarves.

 This afternoon I wound a 12 yard warp for overshot towels in white, light gray and dark gray
 Bailey is not impressed with the warping process
 Here it is wound on the back beam of the Macomber
 Threaded through the heddles
Reed is sleyed and ready to be tied on the front beam but other things had to be done so had to leave it in that state. Not sure when I'll get back to either loom - the next two days I'm in a cardweaving workshop sponsored by my guild, instructor is John Mullarky. Then I've got other things happening Monday and Tuesday, then family coming to visit right after. At least this is a start at getting more weaving time.........

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Warped.......yep, sometimes I am.........

This afternoon I decided a warp needed to go on the AVL. Yesterday I played in the software designing a draft based on an Iranian tilework design. Our guild challenge this year is to pull a country's name out of a hat can and create something inspired by it - I pulled Iran. Originally I was going to go in a totally different direction creating something with a political statement regarding women but then changed my mind as I didn't need to end up with something I have no use for.  This happened with our 'cutting into your handwoven/create a bra' challenge to use in a display for Breast Cancer Awareness........I spent hours/days on that bra - only one other person created one - 2 bras an exhibit does not make (it's somewhere back on my blog in 2011, I think).  So in a different direction I went to make something I could eventually sell and maybe keep one for myself - a scarf warp, 11 yards for 4 scarves.

 First came winding the warp - don't you just love the look of a cross on the warping board?
Then I wound the warp on the back beam. I love it when a warp winds on like butter. Occasionally tencel can create little halos in the ends which grabs the end next to it - none of this with today's warp.
There are those orderly threads again in the lease sticks -gotta love it.
Here the ends are threaded through the heddles - this is a 32 harness pattern. I'm not fond of texsolv heddles but there's no other option when dealing with this many harnesses.
And here's the warp threaded through the reed ready to tie on the front beam but no time - neighbors are coming for dinner and to play cards so I had to turn off the lights in the studio and come upstairs to start on dinner prep. There's always tomorrow to get it tied on and try out some weft colors. And if I don't like the draft once I see it woven I'll do something else - it's threaded to a straight draw, 1-32, so there is no limit to designs. Would love to get a towel warp on the other loom tomorrow but who knows what life will bring.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Different treadling.......

Got a little time at the loom this afternoon - I tried out a different treadling on the second scarf of the handspun wool/silk scarf warp. I think I like this one better than the first treadling (post of 3/19) - not sure what I'll do for the 3rd scarf, maybe this treadling again, maybe something new. This one is pretty busy.........

We have a winner

We have a winner of the She Sells Sea Shells Inkling. I put the number 7, number of comments, in the number generator and it came up with 2 as the winner - KATHY (I numbered comments starting at the top with number 1).  Kathy, I don't know how to get in touch with you so please email me at cindiesam at yahoo dot com with your mailing information and I'll get her out in the mail - Congrats!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

A bit of sparkle.......

I just got some hand-dyed Firestar listed in my etsy shop (in the hand-dyed section) - this is incredible roving for adding sparkle to batts, spinning or felting. A little of it goes a long way. I love adding to batts on the drum carder or to just pick up bits and let it twist in with already prepared roving I may be spinning.  I also got some hand-dyed sock yarn listed in the shop and some inkle woven bookmarks in the other etsy shop.  I'm making progress at getting things listed that have been sitting for months waiting for their photography on to scarves.........or better yet a a bit of weaving.........after we clean house..........

Saturday, March 22, 2014

More Scrabble Tea Pins

I found more tea pins in my organizing today. How many of these things did I make anyhow???  I gifted some, I sold many, and I still have quite a number left.  They are for sale on the 'Other Stuff for Sale' page of this blog - look up under my top banner for that page. They can be bought directly from me or I can list in my etsy shop. They were originally $28 - now at close out price of $14.

I've also unearthed more hand-dyed yarn and fiber to list in my fiber etsy shop and bookmarks to list in the handwoven etsy shop. Much photo editing to do first. If I keep organizing and cleaning out who knows what else I'll find.........

Friday, March 21, 2014

Celtic Knot Table Runners

I can't even begin to tell you how long these table runners have been sitting in a stack waiting for the photography work so I could list them in my etsy shop. I sold several locally, donated one to a benefit auction. Finally decided I needed to buckle down and do the photography work, which I'm terrible at, but I can't list them if it's not done........and no camera angel is going to come do it for me.

All the runners are woven out of perle cotton, the celtic knot design in a bit heavier cotton. These have a nice deep hem and are hand hemmed.

I have two of each colorway in stock.

The top one has a natural background with a forest green celtic knot design on each end.

The middle one has a soft light teal green body with a bit darker soft teal green celtic knot border.

And the bottom one has a tan background with black celtic knot borders.

All are now listed in my etsy shop in the towels & linens section.

Hopefully I'll get to some more photography work soon - have scarves waiting in the wings.

Tax Time Giveaway

To celebrate finishing up our taxes and getting them e-filed this afternoon (phew) I have a giveaway.  I found this extra lone little inkling ornament/desk d├ęcor that I made for holiday 2012 gifts......not sure why I had an extra or why I forgot I had it. Anyhow this one is "She Sells Sea Shells"......made out of a handwoven inkle band, adorned with sandcastles and shells. All you need to do is leave a comment to this post on what you love about the beach, whether it be an ocean beach, a lake beach or river beach. On Monday morning I'll draw a name using and announce the winner.  Be sure to check back to see if you've won as many times there is no way for me to contact winners.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Handspun Merino/Tussah silk awaiting warping and weaving. The lighter shade is a very pale lavender, the darker shade a dusty purple. I spun these a few years ago, just now have I decided to do something with them.
Today I planned this warp, an 8 harness draft out of the Strickler book. Comedy of errors in the beginning - I had a crossed thread in the reed which has only happened to me a few times over 28 years so that had to be fixed.....I was beating too hard at first so I unwove, then I didn't notice that one of the tie-rods dropped out of the 3rd treadle, twice, so I unwove, twice. Finally I was getting back into the weaving groove and started thinking maybe I don't like this......but maybe I will once the 3 scarves are off the loom and washed, or at least someone will like them. I love the dusty purple color but the pale lavender looks a little flat to me, there's not as much variation as the dusty purple (I put 3 ends of that dusty purple on the selvedges, hoping it looks good once finished). Maybe I should have gone with the undulating twill draft I was originally looking at......oh well.......meh.....

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

New roving, concert and curling......

I have more new roving available in my etsy shop. Above is a new line, possibly not a permanent line so it's 'get it while it's here' 80% Merino/20% Tussah Silk. It's beautiful roving......and my spinning group today shopped 'til they dropped snatching up some of these colorways and the roving below.

The top 3 colors here are also limited colorways in 100% Merino.  The bottom is a Black Tussah Silk roving - and it is really black - I've set some aside to use for my own blending.........I set some of many of these latest colorways aside for myself......they're that good.

Last night we went to a community concert, we have season tickets each season, this was #5 out of 6 shows for this season. Pavlo was the group - a Greek/Mediterranean style of music - absolutely fabulous - loved the passion.

I'm having curling withdrawals so I had Sam do a search on the satellite for curling........well, I could be watching curling all the time during the season if I were only to pay an additional $11 a month for a particular sports package. We already pay more than we should for satellite TV - as much as I'd love to watch more curling I cannot bring myself to pay another $132 a year..........very sad but it's just not worth that much to me.......we're trying to cut expenses with Sam's retirement (or semi-retirement at this point) not increase them.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Sunday, March 16, 2014


So are there any ideas out there of what to do with an overabundance of cockle shells? We can't help but pick them up during beach walks but what to do with them all, I can't keep buying the antique blue ball jars for them. They range in size from 1/2" to 2 1/2". I will be making some garland for our holiday tree with some of them but I've got thousands, don't need that much garland. I've already stuffed tons in a small flat rate postage box and sent them off to friend Diane in Idaho to do whatever with, guess she didn't realize what she'd get right after saying in passing "pick me up a shell or two". We also collect the snail shells/hermit crab homes but those aren't as plentiful, only 2 jars full of those.  I'm open to any ideas on what to do with massive amounts of cockle shells - we'll have to quit collecting them otherwise - will have to narrow our search to the snail shells and seaglass........there are agates but those are tougher to find although a couple weeks ago I found a big one.

Now it's back to real life after 4 days on the coast - there is new merino/tussah roving to take photos of, package, label, put in inventory and list in the etsy shop, there are orders to box up and mail.....taxes we've been avoiding - goal to file this week...........sure am hoping there's time to warp up a loom.......
Usual position for Bailey when he's not walking the beach

Thursday, March 13, 2014


Yum - this is what was for dinner last night - a flat bread with all my favs. I started with a Trader Joe's fresh whole what pizza dough, topped it with some mozzarella, red bell pepper rings, mushrooms, asparagus, then looked in the fridge for something else and threw on some feta cheese (I'm out of goats cheese and blue cheese or those would have gone on too), some toasted pine nuts.........and then when it came out of the oven I sprinkled it with fresh cilantro.  Well, maybe I didn't sprinkle, I put as much cilantro as I had all over the top, if I had more I would have put more........who doesn't love cilantro??? it makes everything better........kind of like good quality bacon.........yeah, that's bad.........  
I'm am so excited - I won something off another blog, a wood burning kit off Alisa Burke's blog. I haven't used a wood burning tool in years and look forward to making many gifts using it this year. If you've never read Alisa's blog you must go check it out - she is so creative and inspiring - she's on my blog reading list so I don't miss any posts. I'm hoping to find some time this year to get back to drawing a bit........yeah, I know, where does that time come from?  haven't figured that out yet......

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Phew, progress made........

Today I spent some time putting together my 12 page handout for the Name Draft weaving guild program I'll be giving/teaching next month. There's a handwoven sample on the front cover, a piece of chocolate in a custom matching wrapper, a pencil with a good eraser, a worksheet and cardstock cut for 'weaving'.  I've got 36 of them ready to go each in it's own sheet protector. I've got references (magazines/book) and a few woven samples in my rolling cart and dry erase markers for the white board I've been assured is at our not the usual meeting place. All I need to do is write myself a few notes. Feels good to have that finished.

Have I ever mentioned the 'WOW' factor when giving a guild program?  Gotta WOW them so if I say or do something stupid they won't remember that - they'll remember the candy, free pencil, handwoven sample, etc. Irma, an older guild member, used to be my gauge on if my guild program was good - if she stayed awake it was a good one (which she always did, thank goodness). Irma has since passed away so I just have to hope I do ok these days, haven't found another guild member that falls asleep if the program bores them.

So........the past 2 hours I've spent thinking/planning future warps to go on the looms........that really felt good as I'm not getting enough weaving time these days.

And then UPS showed up with an Ashland Bay order of roving that will need to be weighed, bagged, labeled and put into inventory.......and since these are new colors I'll need to do photography work. It's not as big an order as usual but still around 50 pounds - it's mostly merino/tussah in test colorways to try out and see how they're received and some limited merino multi-color colorways that I thought would be fun to add to the thousands of pounds of roving already in bins here, what's a few more???  I'm going to choose to ignore that huge box until next week, there are other things on the schedule for the next several days.

Monday, March 10, 2014


I am not usually a procrastinator - I'm one for getting a job/chore done early so it's out of the way, what if a crisis were to come up and I couldn't get to it?  Plus I don't like working under last minute stress. That's why in the next 2 days I'll be taking my guild program handouts to the printer, everything for my presentation in a month will be ready to go come early next week.

BUT, I always procrastinate on the taxes - I don't wait until the last minute but we generally get to them late March/early April. And once again, in spite of my promise to myself, I left much of the business spreadsheet work to do until after the end of the year. I enter all sales, cost of goods sold, keep inventory records updated on a daily basis throughout the year but a year's worth of expense receipts get thrown in a box and sit until sometime in March. I couldn't put it off any longer - today was the day to finish pulling everything together for taxes. I'm ready now to sit down with Turbo Tax Home & Business Edition........which will happen sometime next week as the rest of this week is too busy.......but they will get done and filed next week......phew.  Maybe this will be the year I enter all the data at least on a monthly basis........we'll see........

This is what I started spinning last week at my spinning group.  It's a lovely blend of Merino & Shetland from SporFarms. I've only got a total of 8oz of this, not sure what it will grow up to be, will let it marinate on the shelf until an idea comes to me. I'm working on reducing my fiber stash, many of it 10-15 years old, then I won't feel guilty pulling from my hand-dyed or Ashland Bay stock in my etsy shop......which I do way too often.

Lots of sheep.....

.....working on a big order for embroidered sheep towels to use as bread/roll basket liners for a wedding......I bet it's going to be one fun wedding based on these.......wonder what other fun ideas they've got planned..........just another way to sidetrack from doing the inevitable, pulling my business tax stuff together and sitting down with Turbo Tax Home & least the personal tax stuff is ready...........

Saturday, March 8, 2014

New felting kits

Color Fusion Felting/Spinning Kit

Don't ask me where the week has gone and what I've accomplished - time flies these days and I don't like it. I'm getting very sad over not having enough hours in my day to do the things I want to do. It's win-lose situation - selling lots of roving is a win as it's income, selling lots of roving is a lose as I have to spend a lot of time dealing with roving, packing/mailing orders which takes away from weaving time not to mention sewing/crafting/reading time. I have nothing much to show for the week other than going to my spinning group (great day of visiting and spinning), working on my April guild program handout some more (ready to print), lunching and walking around downtown with a friend, and yesterday putting together a new felting/spinning kit using the new Color Fusion Superfine Merino from Ashland Bay (in-between doing massive amounts of laundry). I can't say enough how much I love this roving - it's beautiful to spin.  I haven't tried nuno felting with it yet but being a superfine merino it's got to nuno felt even more beautifully than the regular merino.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Samples spun

I finished spinning mini sample skeins of the new colors of Ashland Bay rovings. Don't look too closely at my spinning, this is quick and dirty (and fun) spinning, not concerned whether or not the yarn is perfect, they're just samples added to the etsy shop listings to show what the colors may look like spun.

Superfine Merino - Color Fusion Line (a new line of fiber & colors)

Merino (new colors added to the already extensive line of merino colorways)

Fringe Twister

Pat asked about my fringe twister. I don't know if they can be found in an online store or on Ebay anymore but a friend found one just a couple years ago. It's a Conair Hair Twister although there was at least one other brand at the time. A number of years ago there was a fad for young girls to use these to twist their hair, of course us weavers caught on to this quickly.  They were around $10 but as the fad was on the way out we could find them as low as $4, I bought a second as a back-up (no, I won't sell my extra one). What's nice about the Conair one is that when you press the button forward each shaft holding yarn twists in one direction - then press the button back and the entire head rotates in the other direction twisting the two together. Sometime last year I saw that Lacis had created a battery twister for fringes and cord, much spendier but if the Conair can't be found it's well worth the money for the time it saves. Since I haven't seen one of those in person I can't say if it works the same. Hope this helps you Pat........and anyone else that may be interested.